Monday, July 24, 2017

Fast Flush!


Originally published in: TMHT Adventures #22
Publication date: November 17 - 30, 1990

Story and art: Uncredited

"Fast Flush!"

Summary:

In the Technodrome, Krang surveys the damage to his Foot Soldiers and the injuries sustained by Bebop and Rocksteady all thanks to the Turtles.  Displeased, Krang insists he can do better than Shredder and comes up with a plan to destroy the Turtles once and for all.


Later, the Turtles are sitting down for pizza when Splinter gets a psychic premonition of dangerous water.  As it happens, the Foot Soldiers are invading every bathroom on the surface and running all the taps and flushing all the "loos" at once, causing the sewers to flood.  The Turtles and Splinter are swept away in the tide before they can even grab their weapons.

A Foot Soldier in a mini-sub keeps tabs on their progress through the sewers and reports to Krang where the Turtles and Splinter will be surfacing.  Krang and Shredder then plot an ambush at that location.


And that's exactly what happens.  The unarmed Turtles surface and are surrounded by Foot Soldiers.  The Foot drive them into a blind alley and Bebop and Rocksteady bear down on them with their guns.  The Turtles escape into an adjacent building and find themselves in the abandoned Carver City Film Studio.  Getting an idea, they run and hide in the costume department.


Krang leads his army into the studio and past the costumed dummies, only for the "dummies" to spring to life and attack.  With the element of surprise on their side, the Turtles take down the Foot Soldiers.  They then use a large fan to blow Krang, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady out of the studio and into a fountain.  With the day saved, the Turtles figure they can use the fan to dry out their lair.


Turtle Tips:

*This story was originally published with "Help!  Where's the Pizza?"


Review:

Wow, I guess the theme of this Hero Turtles issue was "unfeasible evil schemes".  The previous story had the Foot destroy all the pizzerias in New York and that seemed pretty unlikely.  Not to be outdone, this story has the Foot turn on all the faucets and flush all the toilets in the city.  With manpower resources like that, I don't know how these guys keep on losing.

The story is ridiculous, but that's half the charm of these Fred Wolf era Turtle stories.  They're supposed to be bonkers.  Problem with this one is that it abruptly segues from one idea into something completely unrelated, as if two scripts got fused together at the middle.  The story suddenly switches from the Turtles getting caught in a flood to "fun at the costume department!"  That film studio comes out of nowhere just to give this comic an ending.

Also, man, the lair gets trashed a lot in these Hero Turtles comics, doesn't it?  Both stories in this issue feature it getting ransacked or demolished, but it also got blown to Kingdom Come back in TMHT Adventures #15.  Good thing this is one of those comics that always ends with a press of the Reset button.

And again, no idea who wrote or drew this issue due to absent credits.  As with other TMHT comics, it features a lot of look-and-copy artwork taken from other sources.  Look at the close-up of Krang yelling on the title page above.  Now compare it with this Michael Dooney panel:


I mean, I'll give them credit for not straight-up tracing someone else's art, but they're still a copycat.  Whoever they are.

That's another one of these UK things down.  I think I'm going easier on them since I haven't reviewed one in a while.  They're stupid, but if you take them in modest portions once every few months, the stupidity is more fun than it is irritating.  But I still gotta do like 40 more of these things.  Jesus.

TMNT (2003) Season 2, Part 4 review at AIPT


My TMNT (2003) Season 2, Part 4 review is up over at AIPT!

This was not a great stretch of episodes; sort of a season low.  "Rogue in the House" was a pretty good pick-me-up, but man.  "Junklantis".  "April's Artifact".  "The Golden Puck".  That was rough.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Help! Where's the Pizza?


Originally published in: TMHT Adventures #22
Publication date: November 17 - 30, 1990

Story and art: Uncredited

"Help!  Where's the Pizza?"

Summary:

In the Technodrome, the Shredder is reviewing footage of old battles against the Turtles, trying to deduce a way to beat them.  Suddenly, he realizes that without pizza, the Turtles would grow weak and helpless.  Gathering Bebop, Rocksteady and an army of Foot Soldiers, the Shredder begins a campaign of laying waste to every pizzeria in the city.


Down in the lair, the Turtles are waiting on their pizza order when Leonardo comes running in.  He has bad news: Half the pizza parlors in the city have been destroyed.  Sensing the Shredder's handiwork, the Turtles race to the surface.  They find the Foot about to trash to last pizzeria in town, Pizza Shop, but manage to scare them off.  Leo decides that 24 hour guard duty is the only solution and the Turtles make camp at Pizza Shop.


It's quiet for a while, at least until Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady return, piloting the Pizza-Eating Robots (bipedal brontosaurus-looking things).  The Turtles take down the Pizza-Eaters, but they aren't quick enough to stop a bomb from destroying Pizza Shop.  Triumphant, the Shredder retreats.

Desperate for pizza, the Turtles decide to hit the one "pizza parlor" that the Shredder doesn't know about: The pizza stash they keep in the lair!  The Turtles return to the lair, only to find it trashed and Splinter unconscious on the floor.  Their sensei regains his senses and explains that Shredder and his goons were too many for him and they destroyed all of the Turtles' emergency pizza supplies.  Defeated, the Turtles slump into a deep depression.  Realizing he needs help, Splinter calls on April O'Neil and together they come up with a plan.

Back at the Technodrome, the Shredder is coming up with his next evil scheme now that the Turtles are on the verge of starvation.  April then appears on the news and reports that the city government, wanting to help the Turtles in their time of need, will be baking a world record-shattering giant pizza to present to them as a gift during a ceremony in Central Park.  Infuriated, Shredder orders all of his forces to converge on the park and destroy the giant pizza.


The Shredder does just that, leading an army of Foot Soldiers and Pizza-Eaters toward the giant pizza on display in the park.  Getting near it, Bebop discovers that the "pizza" is made entirely out of gunge.  April then climbs a scaffold and shoves the giant pizza onto the Foot, trapping them in the sticky substance.  Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady break free, but with the Foot Soldiers and Pizza-Eaters destroyed, and the Turtles rallying, they've no choice but to retreat.

The day saved, April leads the Turtles to the actual reward offered by the city: Two truckloads of fresh-baked pizzas.


Turtle Tips:

*This story was published alongside "Fast Flush!"

*This story was reprinted in the TMHT Holiday Special #1.

*"Gunge" is a British word for "slime".  Apparently.


Review:

You know, I actually think the Fleetway comics capture the spirit of the old Fred Wolf TMNT cartoon better than the Archie comics did.  I say this because the Archie comics aspired to be more than what the companion cartoon was.  The Archie comics, for both good and ill, had ambition.  But the Fleetway comics?  These things hew closer to their mediocre source material, but that isn't always a disparaging sort of deal.  Just like the Fred Wolf cartoon, the Fleetway comics are this baffling combination of inspired weirdness and half-assed shoddiness that makes them memorable beyond all tangible merit.

I mean, just look at this issue.  Much of the art is traced or look-and-copied from artwork that appeared in other issues of both the Fleetway and Archie books.  Look at Leonardo hacking into the Foot Soldier in the title page up at the top.  Familiar?


It's a look-and-copy job of Michael Dooney art, no doubt about it.  Yet also look at how much effort was put into the painted colors seen throughout this issue.  That shit takes TIME.

The story, too.  I mean, there are incongruities, like the Shredder knowing where the secret sewer lair is, invading it off-panel, and leaving Splinter alive and uncaptured just to destroy some pizza ingredients.  But at the same time, the plot of the Shredder trying to starve the Turtles to death by destroying their singular source of nourishment is just crazy enough to work.  Or at least carry 13 pages.  Like I said, there's this weird juxtaposition of "actually trying" and "completely not giving a shit" throughout these comics that utterly boggles the mind.

On the subject of the Shredder, he is NUTS in this comic.  It's funny, because the UK "Hero Turtles" stuff is typically viewed as being more sanitized than their American "Ninja Turtles" counterparts.  I mean, they can't say "ninja", Mikey can't use his nunchakus, etc.  But then LOOK at some of those selected panels I put in my summary.  Shredder is blowing up buildings and burning half the city to the ground and he's loving every minute of it.  This is some violent shit, at least in terms of property damage.


But much like the Fred Wolf cartoon, the Fleetway comics are best taken in small doses.  If I were to marathon these stories, I'd get sick of them pretty quick.  Also, I really wish these comics had consistent credit pages.  You can sometimes tell who the artist is by just looking (I think this is Sandy James?), but I'm not really familiar enough with the Fleetway in-house crew to make unsourced definitive statements on who did what.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

TMNT Amazing Adventures: Robotanimals #2


Publication date: July 12, 2017

Writer: Caleb Goellner
Artist: Chad Thomas
Colorist: Heather Breckel
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Assistant editor: Peter Adrian Behravesh
Publisher: Ted Adams

Summary:

In the warehouse, the Turtles stop playing dead and take the Robotanimals by surprise.  Leo slices off a piece of Slash's face and then they escape with a smokebomb.  Baxter is disappointed with the intelligence of his creations, but figures his Nanobot 2.0 upgrade will be an improvement.


Down in Donnie's lab, after inspecting the piece of Slash that Leo chopped off, he determines that the Nanobots are only encasing the Mutanimals like a suit of armor.  However, they're also mutating and soon there won't be any way to reverse the process.  Donnie figures he can work on an antidote and begins typing up the code while his brothers (mainly Raph) urge him to work faster.  April and Casey then show up (at Mikey's beckoning) and they join in on telling Donnie to hurry up.  A fight breaks out with the frustrated Donnie, which Splinter quickly resolves.  Raph apologizes and Donnie finishes the antidote, though he can only synthesize enough for one shot.


In the Party Wagon, the Turtles follow the signal of the Nanobots in hopes of finding the Robotanimals.  Instead, they find the roboticized Antrax and Scumbug, who have captured Fishface and Rahzar.  They engage the insects in battle, but they release more Nanobots in the skirmish.  Casey is unharmed, but April is infected due to her part-mutant DNA and goes catatonic.


Baxter then arrives with the Robotanimals and takes an interest in April, realizing that she's the key to perfecting his robot-mutant process.  The Robotanimals attack, but Casey manages to detonate the antidote bomb, restoring the Mutanimals to their former selves.  In the confusion, Baxter, Antrax and Scumbug escape with Fishface, Rahzar and April.  The Turtles and the Mutanimals vow to team up, defeat Baxter and rescue April.


Turtle Tips:

*This story is continued from TMNT Amazing Adventures: Robotanimals #1.  The series concludes in TMNT Amazing Adventures: Robotanimals #3.

*This issue was originally published with 3 variant covers: Cover A by Chad Thomas, Cover B by Billy Martin, and Retailer Incentive Cover by Ryan Jampole.


Review:

Man, I have nothing to say about this issue.  It was light, it was enjoyable, it was... a comic.  I dug it, but it's going in the long box and I don't know if I'll ever think about it again.

I'll have more to add when the next and last issue comes out, since it's supposed to be the final comic from IDW based on the Nickelodeon TMNT cartoon.  I'll probably just end up repeating myself from the past, but whatever.  At least I'll have a better chance of filling out a review than I do now.